- POSTED: 11 Oct 2013 21:16
This graph is an experimental feature that tracks number of views over time.
Former top civil servant Ngiam Tong Dow has said he realises that he had not been fair in what he said about ministers and discussions in Cabinet in an interview published in the Singapore Medical Association's newsletter.
SINGAPORE: Former top civil servant Ngiam Tong Dow has said he realises that he had not been fair in what he said about ministers and discussions in Cabinet in an interview published in the September 2013 issue of the Singapore Medical Association's newsletter.
In a letter addressed to the editor of the newsletter, Mr Ngiam said his statement that ministers will not speak their minds before Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is "unfair".
Mr Ngiam had retired from the civil service in 1999 and had not attended any Cabinet meetings chaired by Mr Lee.
Mr Ngiam said the statement was made without knowing what actually happens at Cabinet meetings today.
He said he had been told by civil servant colleagues that Cabinet discussions were robust.
Mr Ngiam also described his claim that ministers may not speak up because they earn high salaries as "illogical".
He said he knows that some ministers have given up high-flying and well-paid careers in the private sector in order to serve the public at a fraction of their original or potential income.
He added that others could have gone to the private sector to make more money but have chosen to be in the public service.
Another claim Mr Ngiam made was that the current crop of leaders is elitist.
He clarified that he had spoken without realising that many had in fact come from humble backgrounds.
In a statement, PM Lee said he is glad that Mr Ngiam has clarified the statements, especially the comments about his ministers.
Mr Lee said he hopes that in retirement, Mr Ngiam will continue to support the institutions and systems that he helped build during his long and illustrious career.